Tag Archives: Paul Curtis

A little bit softer now


Dumpling dears, would any of you care to hazard a guess as to what those little off-white rectangles are? (this is my college apartment, affectionately dubbed The Pomegranate Estate)((and if you know what belongs between those little thumbtacks, consider yourself really special)). Not sure? Think we were crazy? Here’s a little hint:

Now a little story (don’t worry, I am going somewhere with all of this): One day my roommate Bunny and I were eating breakfast, absentminded-ly switching between our barstools which looked out onto this window (it used to have panes)((that was another hint)), and the futon couch that sat directly below these windows and looked onto the kitchen, which is just to the left of the first picture, while we ate and chatted away. It was a lovely weekend day, and the sun was shining through the windows onto the wall. It made a very pretty little pattern. And one of us though aloud, “Wouldn’t it be neat to paint the shadows on the wall?” And of course, the other piped up something along the lines of a gleeful, “I was JUST thinking that same thing!” (did any one you guess it?!). Since we were both so clearly on the same page, we jumped right up, grabbed some paint and a paintbrush from our brush cup on counter and both went at capturing the sun before it went away. (This sort of little agreement is how we got into most of our shenaniganry.) We then signed it and marked it with the date. Most people could usually make the connection about what those marks were back when we had the multiple windowpanes. They’d look at the marks weirdly, then at us like we were crazy, then at the windows and back again to the wall. Oh. Ohh! And it dawned on them. I was reminded of this when I saw:

You look at this and think, oh what a pretty shadow!

Goodness, whatever is outside must be very pretty.

And maybe if you got real close to it you’d realize: it’s paint! Oui, these are all paintings by artist Mary Temple, who I spotted on The Jealous Curator last week (or so). I just love the hint of outside. The softness of the paint. It’s beautiful and quiet. And yet, fuels your imagination and creates “light” even if there are no windows.

Quiet, you see, is important. Because this morning my building’s superintendent woke my roommate and I up bright and early banging on our door and yelling about how there was too much noise last night. Which would be pretty much impossible, as it happens that the only thing that was moved around was paper. I could go on for a long (long long long) time about a lack of quiet that is not produced by any one in this apartment but you don’t want to hear me rattle on about that, and neither does my super, because he walked away. And we just stood there in silence, baffled, and nowhere near awake enough to fully comprehend what had just happened. I stumbled back into my room but could not fall asleep so busy was my mind thinking about the intricacies of quiet. Of maybe having to walk around on fluffy little cumulus clouds. Oh heavens and oh hell.

And then! Oh and then! Right when I was feeling grumpy and distraught, I realized I’d wound up on the front page of wordpress. And very suddenly my door was being banged on again (metaphorically, that is), but instead of a grouchy super (who really is usually very helpful and nice) it was all of you! Goodness, you cats and kittens just rained on in on me. And I was in my pajamas and had my hair in pigtails and kept finding myself very startled to find myself being paid so much attention. I mean, you always want attention and all, but it tends to happen when you’re not expecting it. Like when you’re donning pig-tails, like a 5-year old. Oh my. You start to feel, for a second, that maybe people can actually see through the computer into your room. It’s cool though, I like you all, you can stick around. You’re sunshine. You’re reverse (or environmental) graffiti:

Have you heard of it?

It’s “graffiti” made from cleaning.

These three pictures are from an installation done by Paul “Moose” Curtis, who originated reverse graffiti, on an overpass in San Francisco.

Beautiful isn’t it? And it kind of reminds me of Mary Temple’s work in it’s softness. I had actually never consciously noticed it before yesterday when I was perusing around for the paint chip post. Connecting these two, made me think about white tattoos on pale skin. How it can look barely there and delicate. But I have yet to find any pictures of ones I really like to show, and I hear they’re kind of risky.

So, yes, after yesterdays Bright and Colorful post, and my busy kooky what-the day, I’ve opted for a moment of hush hush prettyness. But, you know, I think this look could be done nicely with color, too, when you use two colors that are fairly close together only a few shades lighter or darker. Create a subtle design. Hmm. Or an “intricate subtle” using a few colors that are close enough together to be subtle but can be differentiated enough to render a little pattern. Maybe possibly. I’d experiment and show, but I’m tired. Some other time perhaps, we’ll play.

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